Conference launches World Cities minor

A two-day symposium in the Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture auditorium features discussions about the ideas of architecture and urbanism that surfaced in the 1960s as an introduction of new undergraduate minor.

The new undergraduate interdisciplinary and interdepartmental minor, World Cities, is hosted by the College of Architecture in collaboration with the Department of History and the Department of Modern and Classical Languages.

‘Concrete Utopias: 1960s Architecture and Urbanism’, held Feb. 17-18, was organized by professor Michelangelo Sabatino, history and theory coordinator of the College of Architecture.

“We will also be discussing the legacy of 1960s ideals on contemporary Houston and other world cities,” Sabatino said.

The symposium brings together various architects, historians and students from outside the university.

“This symposium draws in academics, professionals, and students from across Texas and the USA,” Sabatino said. “Along with UH professors, a number of colleagues from Rice University and Texas A&M will present their research.”

The variety of attendees draws some students to the symposium.

“I’m interested in attending the symposium because of the different perspectives that the lecturers will bring,” graduate student Fatima Elsanousi said.

Other students find the symposium interesting due to the era in covers.

“It interests me because that’s when my parents were born, undergraduate Ryan Arwood said. “It affected them when they were growing up as teenagers surrounded by pop culture. It affects me now because a lot of our current political awareness comes out of the 60s.”

This event is free and open to the public. Guests include keynote speaker Jean-Louis Cohen, Sheldon H. Solow Chair for the History of Architecture at New York University; Craig Hodgetts, professor of architecture at the University of California-Los Angeles; Sarah Whiting, dean of the Rice School of Architecture; and Kurt W. Forster, professor emeritus at the Yale School of Architecture.

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